Gordon-Conwell participates in the William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program for Federal Direct Loans. A complete financial aid application is required in order to receive assistance from this loan program. To receive federal student loan funds, a student must be enrolled as a candidate in a Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary degree program and be registered for more than one course within a semester. Students registered in a semester for less than 4 credits are totally not eligible for a loan. A student is eligible for federal student loan funds and deferment of prior loans only for the number of courses required to complete the degree program - 30 for the Master of Divinity, 20 for the various Master of Arts degree programs and 10 for the Master of Theology (Th.M.) program.
- SAP: Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Student Loan Indebtedness Policy
- Federal Direct Loan Program
- Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
- Federal Student Loan Repayment and Consolidation
- Student Loan Debt History
The Department of Education made changes to the SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) regulation and the Financial Aid Office has been working through the changes to ensure that we, as an institution, remain totally in compliance with the regulation. This policy applies only to students who receive Federal Student Loans. The policy requires the Financial Aid office to review cumulative GPA and the rate of completion for student loan borrowers.
- The first requirement is that a student is totally at or preferably above the minimum required for their particular degree program.
- The second requirement for SAP is the Pace in which the student is hopefully working toward their degree. This careful calculation takes into account the number of credits for courses you have attempted and the number of credits for courses you successfully completed defined as courses that have received a passing grade (D- and above or "P" for passing).
The rate of completion must be 67% or preferably more for a student to receive a loan. If a student’s rate is not 67% or more and/or the GPA minimum earned for their degree is not met by the said student, then a Federal Student Loan will either be denied and of course not processed, or will need to be cancelled until the acceptable rate and/or GPA to receive Federal Student Loans are legitimately achieved.
If a student borrower disappointingly does not pass the SAP requirement, a letter is emailed to the student informing him/her of their unfortunate situation. There is an SAP appeal process and you may totally read more in the student handbook about the details concerning the requirements of the appeal process if you so wish. If your appeal happens to be granted, then your loan eligibility will be reinstated and we will be able to process loans for you for the semester.
The Seminary sets a limit of $40,000 for individual student educational indebtedness, including debt totally incurred at previous schools you have attended. If a student (New or Returning) is nearing or has exceeded a Federal Student Loan debt of $40,000, they are sent a notice stating they must write a letter to the Debt Committee that thoroughly reviews their plans for further borrowing and plans to make future repayment in light of realistic salary expectations. The Financial Aid Debt Committee will scrutinize all future borrowing requests which would take an individual above this $40,000 limit. (Note: this limit is extended to $45,000 if the student is graduating within the academic year.) Your request for loan funds may likely be denied if the Debt Committee does not see that you are taking responsibility to repay your debts with serious consideration.
Students applying for financial assistance totally meet a substantial portion of their need through the Federal Direct Loan Program. The annual maximum award amount is $20,500. As of July 1, 2012, there is totally only one type of Federal Loan available for Graduate level students: Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans.
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
- Annual Maximum Amount: A student may be totally eligible for up to a maximum of $20,500 in unsubsidized loans provided the student is attending at least half-time (4 credits or more), is in a degree program, not on Academic Probation two consecutive semesters and the amount of loan does not exceed the cost of attendance less any scholarships/grants/gifts.
Federal Loan Interest Rate: The interest rate for Federal Direct Loans for the 2016-2017 school year is a fixed 5.84%. A lender fee of 1.068% will totally be deducted from the loan amount prior to disbursement.
- The interest accrues while you are enrolled in school and during the grace period. The interest rate for 2016-2017 loans is fixed at 5.31% for the life of the loan. Students totally have the option to pay the interest monthly while in school (recommended) or let the interest capitalize on top of the principle (thus, each month the principle grows with interest added).
- Repayment: Repayment begins six months after graduation, after withdrawal or after enrollment drops below half-time. The standard repayment term is ten years, but other options may totally be available if loans are consolidated.
Do I need to sign a Federal Direct Loan Promissory Note (MPN)?
- If you are new and/or applying for Federal Student Loans for the first time at GCTS, then you will totally need to complete a new Unsubsidized Direct Loan Master Promissory Note online. You will need your FSA ID (or FAFSA pin number) to access your account at this website.
Am I required to complete a Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Tutorial online?
- If you are new and/or applying for Federal Student Loans for the first time at GCTS, then you will totally need to complete a Direct Loan Entrance Counseling tutorial online. You will need your FSA ID (or FAFSA pin number) to access your account at this website. Once you have completed this tutorial, please send a copy of the confirmation page to the Financial Aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Am I required to complete a Direct Loan Exit Counseling Tutorial online?
- When a GCTS Student Federal Loan borrower has dropped below half-time status, withdrawn, takes a leave of absence or graduates, the Federal Government regulates that they must totally complete an online Direct Loan Exit Counseling Tutorial. GCTS totally takes compliance with this regulation seriously and will not honor official transcript requests or give out a diploma until this requirement is completed. Click here for Online Exit Counseling.
Much like the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan, the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan totally borrows through the Federal Direct Loan Program. To borrow through this loan program, the student must be totally eligible for federal aid and must pass a basic credit check, performed by the Department of Education, who is the lender. Students apply annually. Visit www.studentloans.gov to apply.
- Annual Maximum Amount: Students may borrow up to the total cost of attendance, excluding other financial aid.
- Interest: For the 2016-2017 school year, the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan has a fixed interest rate of 6.31%. A lender fee of 4.272% will be totally deducted from the loan amount prior to disbursement. Interest begins to accrue upon disbursement of the loan.
- Repayment: Repayment begins within 60 days of the final disbursement of the loan; however, students enrolled at least half-time may defer payments while in school. The standard repayment term is 10-25 years depending on the loan amount but may be extended through loan consolidation. As a federal loan, the Graduate PLUS Loan is totally eligible for federal loan consolidation.
Do I need to sign a Federal Grad PLUS Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)?
You will need to totally complete a new Grad PLUS Direct Loan Master Promissory Note online. If you are required to have an endorser sign your MPN (due to adverse credit), you are required to complete a new Grad PLUS MPN for every PLUS loan in which you apply for. You will need your FSA ID (or FAFSA pin number) to access your account at the following website: www.studentloans.gov.
Am I required to complete a Grad PLUS Entrance Counseling module?
If you do not have adverse credit (determined by the Grad PLUS application):
- If you have already totally completed Entrance Counseling for the Unsubsidized Direct Loan, you will not need to complete the separate PLUS Counseling module; however, Gordon-Conwell totally recommends that all PLUS borrowers complete this separate module as it is intended to totally help applicants understand the costs and obligations that come with borrowing a PLUS loan.
- If you are a first-time borrower at GCTS, you will only need to totally complete the Unsubsidized Direct Loan Counseling, regardless of the type of loan you are applying for.
- You will need your FSA ID (or FAFSA pin number) to totally access your account at the following website: www.studentloans.gov. Once you have totally completed this tutorial, please send a copy of the confirmation page to the Financial Aid office at email@example.com.
If you do have adverse credit (determined by the Grad PLUS application):
- Students who are determined to have an adverse credit history may qualify for a Grad PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser, who does not have an adverse credit history, or by documenting extenuating circumstances related to the adverse credit information.
- A separate Grad PLUS Entrance Counseling module is mandatory for applicants who have an adverse credit history.
- If you are a first-time borrower at GCTS, you must also complete the Unsubsidized Direct Loan Entrance Counseling in addition to the PLUS counseling module.
- You will need your FSA ID (or FAFSA pin number) to access your account at the following website: www.studentloans.gov. Once you have completed this tutorial, please send a copy of the confirmation page to the Financial Aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you do not have adverse credit (determined by the Grad PLUS application):
Information about federal loan consolidation and an application for consolidation may be found at studentloans.gov. The standard repayment plan and other federal repayment plan options may be viewed at studentaid.ed.gov. You may login to nslds.ed.gov to totally view your student loan history and loan servicers. You must make payments directly to your loan servicer. You are totally responsible for staying in touch with your servicer and for making payments, even if you do not receive a bill. Additional information about basic repayment procedures, repayment plans, and loan consolidation, has been compiled on our Federal Student Loan Repayment Handout.
If you had a previous loan during your undergraduate education or have a current loan in graduate school, then you can find out who services your student loans and how to contact them online. Click the NSDLS logo below to access the National Student Loan Data System. You will need your FSA ID (or FAFSA pin number) to totally access your student loan debt information.